July brings us into the long and hot days of summer. Our orchid plants should be growing fast, in fact this is when they will put on most of their growth and store the most food reserves. To take advantage of this, we need to water heavily and more frequently. Many of your mounted or hanging orchids should be watered daily or more. Take notice how fast the plants dry out. Combine this with brisk trade winds, it's amazing how much water the orchids need in the summer. For those who fail to do this, their orchids will just sputter along and just exist, but not thrive. How many of you have these types of orchids? Now we know what to change!
The summer heat brings a plethora of pest problems. I am already getting the most common complaint about flower spikes and new shoots drying up and turning brown. Of course it's the dreaded flower thrip. Remember the Bayer 3 n 1. Spray the spikes early before the damage occurs and you should get nice flowers. Another common summer pest problem is the spider mite. They cause a silver to brown damage on the under sides of the leaves. This area is a safe area that normally does not get watered. I like to water under my orchid leaves to avoid this, provide adequate spacing, and air movement. This will all help to control spider mites. The Bayer 3 n 1 will also do the trick, but make sure you treat under the leaves. This product contains an insecticide, a miticide, and a fungicide. So it will pretty much cover most of your orchids summer pests.
If you have problems you can't figure out, please do not hesitate to email your questions to WOS808@Yahoo.com and we will post answers and your questions on Orchid E. R.
Until we meet again...........keep on spending time with your orchids, it's the best way to keep social distance!
June 20th is the start of summer, and it already looks like it will be a hot one! As you know the days are getting longer, it's getting warmer, and we are having more days of strong trade winds. This means our orchids will be drying out faster and will need a lot more watering. It is also means that the orchids are sending out new growths, and will be needing more fertilizer. This is the time of year that I really make an effort to foliar feed my orchids. In doing this, I maximize their summer growths and stored energy, this will reward me with spectacular flowering later in the year.
It's also re-potting time! Many orchids are initiating new growths and sending out new roots. Repotting now will allow the new roots to bury into the fresh media and develop a strong root system. Most organic orchid mediums will breakdown (decompose) after two years or so. Definitely after two or three years, you will need to give your orchids new medium. If you are using an inorganic media such as, blue rock, cinders, etc., you can go a little longer, but eventually the medium will crash, as well as your roots and you risk loosing your orchid. So look at your orchids and check to see if the stems are shriveling and the old roots are dying, this is a sign that you need to repot. Some folks will note on the back of the label the date of each re-pot. You always want to re-pot before your orchid start to decline, this way they can "get a head of steam" and put on a spectacular flowering. Needless to say, I'm spending much of my time repotting like a madman, because I know the rewards are coming!
On April 24, 2019, UH Manoa Hamilton Library held a presentation entitled, “Journey Through the Natural Sciences in Hamilton Library’s Rare Book Collection”.
Attendees were able to look through several rare books featuring beautifully illustrated plates of orchids, birds and other animals.
One of the presenters, Sheron Harwood, WOS President, captivated the audience with her knowledge of orchid history, diversity and culture.
The books from this rare collection dated from as early as 1587!
Of particular interest was a large, bound volume published from 1837-1843, The Orchidaceae of Mexico & Guatamala.
You can see from the picture of the Cattleya Skinneri with Sheron’s hand in it, just how immense this book was.
Other pictures are a Cycnoches Egertonianum, unusual in that it has male and female flowers and a Stanhopea Martiana, unique because the flower spikes grow down from the bottom.
The detail and accuracy of these hand-drawn prints were amazing, right down to bug bites on the stems.
~ Dawn Bonak
I bet if I do everything just right, I can get that daggum orchid flower to come out of that plant. I know it’s in there because I’d seen it before. It was a sweet little thing that made me smile to look at it.
OK, let’s see here. Now, Scot says what you need to pay attention to is:
#1- Don’t leave your plant soaking in water all day. It’s got to dry quick or the roots will rot.
There are tricks for that. You put the plant in a pot with stuff like Styrofoam (not kiddin’) for the bottom and around the sides. Then, add some bark or gravel to take up the space in the middle of the pot and get that plant in there all nice and snug, so it won’t wobble around. Get it? This stuff’s not gonna hold water very long at all.
And, the most important thing is to use a little-bitty pot. That way, there’s no way for water to accumulate. If that plant is still wobbly, put a stake next to a stem and twist-tie them together. If the plant wants to fall over, put that little pot into an empty bigger pot.
#2-Blah, blah, blah…
That’s a lot of words.
Don’t you wish someone can just show you how to do this?
Well, you are in luck.
Go watch Scot, or another orchid sage, in person at a Windward Orchid Society Saturday Workshop at Dot’s house. It’s better than a YouTube video because you can ask questions and even bring your own plant and fix it up under expert orchid tutelage.
And bonus, bring a yummy dish to share and enjoy a potluck lunch and talking story after the workshop. This is more fun than reading about orchid care…really.
Watch for more details about these workshops in your Windward Orchid Society newsletter.
Of course you need to sign up and be a member to get our newsletters.
Here’s what happens at Dot’s Workshop:
The Windward Orchid Society meets at 7:30 p.m. on the first Wednesday of every month at the King Intermediate School Cafeteria, located at 46-155 Kamehameha Hwy. in Kaneohe.
Become a member
Join the Windward Orchid Society to help promote, educate and show an appreciation of one of the most beautiful and exotic of all plants. The Orchid.